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American and Canadian Job Credentials: A Comparison Guide

American and Canadian Job Credentials: A Comparison Guide

Nov 25, 2020 | Business

The one thing that Canada and America have in common is a demand for an international workforce. Over the years, the two countries have been recognized as the world’s biggest consumers of talents and skills from different parts of the world. Crossing over from Canada to America and vice versa is not a complex process, provided you have a valid Canada or United States passport. But when it comes to working in either of these countries, there are different job credentials necessary before you’re considered fit for employment.

Read on to learn more.

Can a Canadian Work in the US or a US Resident Work in Canada?

The quick answer is yes. However, a Canadian or US resident nursing the idea of working in the US or Canada must secure various work permits. These include:

  • The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) work permit: NAFTA is an agreement sealed by the United StatesCanada, and Mexico. It allows workers from the three countries to temporarily live and work in any of these countries. Canadians qualified to work in America can get the NAFTA work permit through the International Mobility Program.
  • Spousal Open Work Permit: This permit lessens the intricate work of getting a new permit once you change your job. However, only those whose spouses are temporary foreign workers qualify for this type of permit. You qualify for this permit if you are currently placed under the inland sponsorship.
  • Employer Specific Work Permit: Your employer may need to provide Labor Market Impact Assessment documents for you to qualify for this permit. Canadian employees with target American-based employers are also eligible for this permit. 

The Differences in Employment Requirements 

Permits aren’t the only issue for Canadians or US residents seeking employment in America or Canada. There are several differences in the requirements for working in America and Canada.

  • One such difference is the At-Will Law in America that allows employers to terminate contracts without a warning. Once an employer terminates a contract, they aren’t required by the law to provide compensation to those employees. 
  • In Canada, there is an entirely different version of the law. Before terminating an employee’s contract, what is generally called termination without cause, Canadian employers have the option to provide either working notice or pay in lieu of notice. Important to note is that the provisions of this law vary by province.
  • The rights of workers in Canada and America differ, as well. In America, employees are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. In Canada, the story is quite different. There is paid maternity leave of up to 15 weeks (for only a person who is away from work because they are pregnant or have given birth recently). There’s also a paid parental leave, open to both parents of a newly born or adopted child with an option of sharing. Further, a recipient of maternity benefits is also entitled to parental leave. An applicant of parental leave and benefits must choose between these two options:  
    1. Standard parental benefits — Up to 40 weeks, if sharing one parent is not allowed to receive more than 35 weeks of benefits
    2. Extended parental benefits — Up to 69 weeks, if sharing one parent is not allowed to receive more than 61 weeks of benefits 

How Do Education Systems Leading to Employment Opportunities in Both Countries Compare?

The American and Canadian education systems are almost the same. The college diplomas, university degrees, and many other certificates are virtually the same.

The United States high school education system offers different academic class levels, including regular, AP, Honors, and IB, which aren’t common in Canada. Some United States schools offer ACE, a program that provides successful candidates a scholarship to study in a preferred school in their state.

Globally, the two countries produce some of the smartest brains. Canada’s academic system seems to have a more favorable return on investment. According to statistics, a Canadian graduate will have better chances of securing a job soon after successful completion of required educational qualification compared to an American graduate.


Do you want to work in Canada but not sure where to start? Consult us for comprehensive and reliable guidance.

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